PRS's biggest failure, sales wise.

Ariel Pozzo

New Member
Sep 22, 2012
I love PRS, have owned dozens over the past twenty years and still do.
While I consider great instruments most of the different models PRS has put out, I was wondering which model was their biggest failure regarding sales.
I assume one model must be the least wanted, the one which sold less units.
Wonder which one.
don't know it, but I think the McCarty MD and Santana MD were a big mistake. The Modern Eagle 3, I like, but looks like they didn't sell much, at least I don't see many of those around.
The NF3 hasn't been much of a hit here in the UK, they're discounted like crazy.
Basses & left hand guitars. Failure no just market otherwise they would be regular product. I remember hearing Paul speak at a clinic in MI and someone asked Paul when they were going to make a 12 string he replied "we do just order a PS". So a few years back they started making them yet I have never seen one in person. I really don't think they are any failures as a company they need to see what people want and bare. The market is soft PRS is not going to produce a few guitars for the few they could sell them to. The flip side those will be the guitars worth $$ someday maybe. The metal model they couldn't give away now people pay ridiculous amounts for a paint job. I think it would be failure if the didn't put it it out and 5yrs down the line regret it because something caught on. I honestly can't keep up with all the models anymore, not sure how someone can't find a PRS the don't like they sure have the ground covered. The models that have a decline in sales they simply discontinue I don't think it's failure rather the model had reached the end of a run. The last thing people want to see is the same guitar hanging on a wall for the next 3yrs every time they stop into their favourite shop. Variety is the spice of life and it shows up on forums like this everyday.
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The number of artist designed or endorsed guitars in the lineup is staggering. I'd like to see the numbers on which ones are really hot (think Santana and DGT and Grainger bass) and which are not (no way I'm insulting anyone here!).

I can't say that I would ever buy a guitar JUST because some artist has his name on it - there needs to be a better reason. My favorite guitarist is David Gilmour, but there is absolutely no chance that I'm going to rush off for a Gilmour strat.

The guitar I play most in the office is one of the original Santana SEs with the relief bevel on the upper bout rear. I play it because it is just so friggin comfortable, not because Santana's name is on it.

I will pay homage to Santana for the idea of the SE line though. What insight - a line for new players to spread their wings and still own a PRS.

A ramble to be sure, but back on topic, I'm thinkin' that aside from the three I mention above, the artist models are probably at the bottom of the sales numbers.
the artist models are probably at the bottom of the sales numbers.

I've heard at the PRS Benelux Experience day that the DGT and the Tremonti (the second one, not the one with the name tag on the 12th fret) are best-sellers. That's probably the case because these are guitars that seem to appeal to a wide audience, more than just the fans of the guitarists whose names are on the guitars. I'm one of them: before I studied the PRS catalogue more closely, I'd never heard of David Grissom. Even though I now dig his sound and his playing, his music is not what I usually listen too. However, I do own a DGT Standard because that model sounds awesome and has nice features such as jumbo frets and dual volumes.

Also read that a lot of the people who own the Tremonti model bought it because of its features and versatility rather than because they were fans of Mark('s music). Admittedly, a lot of people change pickups but that doesn't detract from the model's popularity. One day I'll own a Tremonti as well. Not because I'm a fan (which I am, of both Alter Bridge and his solo project), but because it's an awesome guitar.

Would be interesting to hear some official numbers on that. Not absolute numbers, but just percentages.
My only comment is that PRS innovates, and innovation involves a certain degree of risk.

I don't think a model not selling well equates with failure.

On the contrary, I think risk and innovation are part of the formula for PRS' achievements and successes.

So instead of talking about a failure, I'd credit the models that didn't sell well as steps on a path leading to discovery.
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The first amp line would be my guess.

My HG70 alive and kickin'

I bought this used as an 'investment' because so few were produced. I still play it now and then to remind myself why I'm not playing it.